The history isn’t going to change if he hides from it. So Matt Ryan is going to embrace it instead.
The Falcons quarterback told D. Orlando Ledbetter of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution that he immersed himself in the tape of the Super Bowl immediately, watching the mistakes that caused a 28-3 lead to turn into a 34-28 overtime loss.
“No, I watched it,” Ryan said. “I watched it a day after. I watched it two days after and I watched it three days after. For me, it was one of those things where you kind of want to be able to deal with it appropriately.
“Maybe, that’s different for everybody. Some people bury it away. Some people [do] whatever. … For me it was ‘all right, let’s watch. Does it feel the same way it felt as we were going through it?’”
Mostly, he said watching it left him “numb,” and that he thought they had the game in control after wide receiver Julio Jones‘ ridiculous catch to move them to the Patriots’ 22-yard line.
“When I let it go, I was just trying to put it high in a safe spot for him to make a play,” Ryan said. “I did that. I was fired up at that point. I thought that was going to be a play that was going to change the outcome of that game. Obviously, the next couple of plays unfolded, and we didn’t end up converting [it into] points.
“At the time, I thought it was a huge play.”
It was, until a sack, a holding penalty and an incomplete pass took them out of field goal range, and left the Patriots with the opportunity to tie the game and force overtime. But that didn’t cause Ryan to second-guess the play-calling of now-49ers coach Kyle Shanahan.
“You have to believe in what you are doing,” Ryan said. “That’s kind of the way we were all year. That’s not going to change. I love that approach.
“I love that they have confidence in me and that they have confidence in the guys that we have, and we are going to let it rip. Obviously, it didn’t work out.”
And that’s something he’ll have to think about for a long time, having already started the process of figuring out how it happened.